REPAIRS to a major road crossing in a city centre is continuing, but with an anticipated completion next month.

Progress on the refurbishment of Durham’s New Elvet Bridge is being made with a view to the key city centre route reopening in October.

Essential works are being carried out on the 46-year-old bridge, which spans the River Wear between New Elvet and Leazes Bowl roundabout, on the A690.

It closed in July last year to allow for repairs to ensure it remains structurally sound long into the future.

The extensive engineering project has seen the northern joint repaired and the southern joint completely removed.

Extensive concrete repairs have also been carried out and an electronic concrete protection system is being installed to provide additional protection for the years to come.

Water proofing and drainage works have also been completed and surfacing of the bridge deck was undertaken at the end of August, but additional work is still required before the bridge can safely reopen to vehicles and pedestrians.

The final phases of the scheme will include the continued installation of the electronic concrete protection system to the underside of the bridge, application of protective coatings, further road surfacing and markings, footpath paving works and installation of lighting columns.

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The suspended access platforms and site compound will then be removed, before the bridge reopens to the public.

Councillor John Shuttleworth, Durham County Council cabinet member for rural communities and highways, said: “Work on the bridge is progressing well.

“In the coming weeks people will notice a visual change in the appearance of the bridge compared to pre-works, with a brighter, textured finish, as we near the end of the project.

“However, there is still work to be done to ensure it remains fit for purpose and to ensure that more extensive work won’t be needed in the future.

“But, we are on track to reopen the bridge in October.

“I know that people are keen to see it reopened.”

He thanked businesses, residents and visitors for their, “continued patience” while the essential repairs are concluded.

An estimated 17,000 vehicles a day use the bridge when in open and a network of signposted alternative routes have been in place to keep traffic flowing round the city during the period of the refurbishment.